Thursday, January 31, 2019

Climate Change: The cost of inaction

Stuff reports that local authorities want the government to pay billions of dollars to replace infrastructure threatened by climate change:

Local councils are facing a $5-8 billion bill to replace vital infrastructure lost to climate change in the next half-century - and they want a national war chest to pay for it.

For the first time, environment and engineering researchers have calculated the cost of replacing pipes, roads and buildings destroyed by sea-level rise.

The data is included in a new Local Government New Zealand report which spells out a dire warning about the country's ability to fund repairs. The organisation is now calling on the Government to create a national climate change adaptation fund to help meet the costs.

$8 billion is over 5% of GDP, and it is literally the cost of doing nothing. We will have to pay it because past governments have dragged their feet on climate change and climate change adaptation - not just allowing our emissions to increase and our planet to warm and the oceans to rise, but also refusing to set limits on coastal development. Meaning that stuff got built in places it shouldn't have, and is now threatened and will need to be rebuilt elsewhere, all because of government inaction.

But hey, at least farmers don't have to pay for their polluting cows, right?